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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Unemployment risks creating new divide in Europe

BRUSSELS (AP) â¿¿ Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, after figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high.

Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8 percent in November, the highest since the euro currency was founded in 1999, according to the statistical agency Eurostat. The rate was up from 11.7 percent in October and 10.6 percent a year earlier.

In the wider 27-nation European Union, the world's largest economic bloc with 500 million people, unemployment broke the 26 million mark for the first time.

But the trend is not uniform. Unemployment is increasing mainly in those countries, mostly in southern Europe, where market concerns over excessive public debt have pushed governments to make the toughest savings, moving the economies into recession.

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Smart TVs get smarter, by just a little bit

LAS VEGAS (AP) â¿¿ In the not-so-distant future, couch potatoes will be waving, pointing, swiping and tapping to make their TVs react, kind of like what Tom Cruise did in the 2002 movie "Minority Report." That's the vision of TV manufacturers as they show off "smart TVs" at the International CES in Las Vegas.

The sets will recognize who's watching and will try to guess what viewers want to see. They'll respond to more natural speech and will connect with your smartphone in a single touch.

But don't worry about "Big Brother" looking back at you. Manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. will allow motion-capturing cameras to be pointed away.

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TV-over-Internet service expands despite lawsuits

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The Barry Diller-backed Internet company that challenged cable and satellite TV services by offering inexpensive live television online plans to expand beyond New York City this spring.

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